Basha patted her charge’s back. “Therese, I know how you feel, but . . .” She sucked in a deep breath and stood to her full height. “Listen, everyone, we all have to be strong now, and we have to stick together. We can’t let this loss cause any division amongst us, or create any difficulties with the others.”
She glanced at each of her companions in turn. “Now I know this may seem premature to you, but we have to face facts. For starters, we’d best determine right here and right now who will be our administrative lead going forward.” She hesitated. “Of course, the natural person would be Mara,” she added as her eyes rested on her friend.
“Oh, no! Not me! I’ve enough to do without—”
Just then, the door burst open again. Mara’s charges, the twins—and the current ranking members of the first family of the Select, Reigna and Eden—entered.
“Felicity had a spell,” Reigna cried. “She rambled something that made Trumble think that someone was hurt.” She hurried to Mara’s side. “What happened?”
With tears welled in her eyes, Mara looked her way, then at Eden. “I’m so sorry, girls. It’s Lucy. I’m afraid she’s . . .” She swallowed hard, unable to say the word.
“No!” Reigna dropped to her knees. She grabbed Lucy’s hand and squeezed it. “No, Ehyeh! No! Please, return her to us. Please, please, don’t take her!” She wept. “Oh, why couldn’t it be someone else? We need her! No, no, no. This can’t be! Please,” she pleaded.
Mara crouched down and put her arm around her. “I’m sorry, Reigna. I tried. Truly . . .”
Reigna brushed her hand away. “No, Mara. Lucy may be difficult—but we need her!” Still weeping, she hung her head, muttering, praying.
Eden knelt at her sister’s side. She leaned in and brushed the back of her hand against Lucy’s cheek. “Reigna, that’s enough now. There’s nothing more you can do.”
“We have to save her!”
“It’s too late,” Mara said. “I’m so sorry . . .”
At that very moment, Lucy sucked in a deep breath.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish